Winter is definitely coming (…or perhaps it’s already here, depending on where you live in the world…), which means it’s time to start preparing for darker days and colder temperatures. But fear not, seekers of light and coziness! Winter can still be a time of well-being and contentment, so long as you do your best to shut out the seasonal blues.
Here are a few suggestions and friendly reminders that will hopefully help you feel merry and bright throughout the coming months.
Hello again, fellow wanderers in the Cathedral Grove. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m grateful you’re here.
This week, here’s a quote from Beat Generation writerJack Kerouac to kick things off.
This quote has a special resonance right now. I mentioned previously that work has been a bit same-y, a bit strugglesome for a few months now. It has taken a noticeable toll on my mental and physical well-being. It’s a salvageable situation, one I think can be significantly improved by taking a bit of a step back, taking some time to breathe and think.
My partner Nick and I are quite fortunate to be currently working for an organization that understands how unrelentingly intense the work we do can be and that recognizes its employees generally tend to burn out every 2-3 years. There’s a policy in place that makes it possible for employees to take a sabbatical of 2 months or more after working with the company for 2+ years, during which time their position is held for them. We’ve been encouraged to take a bit of time off ourselves and have just been granted a few months off in Spring 2019, typically the busiest, longest haul of our particular work year.
We’re really looking forward to the adventures we’re planning together, as well as the opportunity to explore training and additional opportunities which we otherwise don’t have time for because of our regular schedules. We’re still planning and number crunching and discussing joint adventures with friends who are likewise going to be on sabbatical, but I know whatever makes the final cut is going to be positively brilliant.
I’m looking forward to sharing more with you all in the future…
Until next time, may you be well and may you have your own wonderful adventures, big and small.
Hello again, lovely people. It’s time for another installment of Monday Mindfulness.
I find myself coping with and working to improve a few strugglesome things as of late. Outside of work, my days are filled with sunshine and solid ground upon which to stand, for which I am ever grateful. Work, however, has unfortunately become a bit of a long, hard slog with a big ol’ rucksack through a muddy mire into gusty winds. Oh bother.
If there is anything with which you are currently struggling in your own life, then I hope you’ll find a bit of inspiration, hope, or comfort in today’s post – as well as in past Monday Mindfulness offerings. I normally only post one thought of the moment on Mondays, but this time around we’re having a bit of a double feature. Why not, eh?
Edward Estlin Cummings – or e e cummings, as he often styled himself – was an American modernist free-form poet, and it is from him that our first thought for the moment comes.
Here’s a bonus thought for the moment, this one from British writer and poet Aldous Huxley who is perhaps best known as the author of science-fiction classic Brave New World.
Hello, everyone – and thanks for stopping by for another installment of Monday Mindfulness here at Cathedral Grove.
I’ve recently returned from a little jaunt over to The Netherlands, so I’ll be posting a few words and snapshots relating to my trip some time in the coming days. Canals and bicycles and pancakes – oh my!
In the meantime, here’s a quote I recently stumbled upon that struck a chord for me. It comes to us from Brené Brown, who describes herself on her website as ‘Researcher. Storyteller. Texan.’ (Tip of my invisible cowboy hat to you, Brené.) A professor at the University of Houston and the author of multiple bestsellers, her primary focus of study is on ‘courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.’
Striving to maintain ownership of my own personal story has been a profoundly important theme in my adult life due in large part to a few key events in my formative years. I would imagine it is an important thing to many of you as well, especially keen users of social media. In this day and age, it’s hard to know where your words and images will end up, or – perhaps most importantly – how the reality of your lived experiences will be reshaped, perhaps little by little and innocently enough, in the retelling.
Am I saying never share your experiences with others, close yourself off to the world? No, not all. Like our Texan storyteller here, I’m suggesting that whenever possible we choose to share our stories with those who will treat them with respect, who will seek to understand what it is you truly saw and did and said.
It’s your life, your story – own your role as the heroic albeit human protagonist.
In honor of World Mental Health Day today, here are a few simple mindfulness practices you can try if you have less than 30 minutes to spare. Try one or all of these mindful moments challenges during a break at work or once you come home – it’s up to you.
What is mindfulness, you might ask? For me, mindfulness is when I am aware of the present moment. I am gently focused on what I am feeling and sensing in the moment, without passing any judgment on those things as best I can. I am not overwhelmed by what is going on around me, and I neither dwell on the past nor try to anticipate the future. I say ‘I’ in all of this but – truth be told – my wandering, imaginative mind often finds it a bit of a challenge to achieve this state of being! But that’s OK – it just takes practice.
Anyway, without further ado, here are 3 little opportunities to practice a bit of mindfulness in our every day lives. Read More
It’s World Mental Health Day on October 10th, so all week I’ll be posting tips, resources, and challenges related to boosting well-being. To begin with, here are 10 simple, easy self-care suggestions that also happen to be budget-friendly. When we’re not busy at work or with other obligations many of these things are quite obvious and instinctual, but sadly we often need reminding of them when stretched thin by stress.
In England, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health issue each year.¹ Worldwide, it is estimated that 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime.² So whether or not you personally have had dealings with anxiety, depression, or another mental health concern, it’s quite likely that someone you know is dealing with something of the sort right now.Read More
Good morning, all. A very happy start of the new week to you all.
Today, our Monday Mindfulness thought comes from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Wouldn’t it be nice if more people felt as such? I believe a kinder, more compassionate humanity is possible.
Challenge yourself today and every day to speak and act as you would like others to. If there are people in your life for whom unkindness is their way of being, show them a better way by your deeds.
Like 1 in 13 people worldwide¹, I have a history with anxiety. My specific mental health journey has involved developing generalized anxiety around the age of 12, my first panic attack occurring when I was 17, and the onset of moderate depression shortly thereafter. Thankfully, I kicked the depression by my second year of university, and I haven’t had a panic attack since 2014. Generally mild yet persistent anxiety and obsessive compulsive tendencies linger still, but I’ve become much better at recognizing my triggers and knowing instinctively what I need to do for myself to relieve my mental muddle.
Now in my late 20s, I’ve found another, rather surprising tool to add to my mental health mending kit – video games!
While I fondly remember the classic Game Boy ‘brick’ my parents gifted me with as a child, I didn’t truly delve into gaming until around the start of last year. Playing console games has opened up a whole new world (…many worlds, in fact) of entertainment. Not only that, but playing many of these games has helped me better manage my anxieties – and here’s how.
Good morning, all – and happy Monday Mindfulness once again, following a brief pause.
I’ve recently returned to work as an adventurous activities group leader after having a bit of the summer off. My mind has been a bit off-kilter this week what with readjusting back into the flow of things, but I stumbled upon this quote last night after finishing work and found it to be an important bit of perspective for me. Hopefully, you’ll find it to be both helpful and hopeful too.
Hat tip to Robert Louis Stevenson, writer of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from whom we get this week’s quote.